Chapter 165: Untitled
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Bagu’s face turned back as he replied, “Naturally!”
“Oh? So it was I who remembered wrongly?” Zhangsun Wuji chuckled. He looked towards the top of Bagu’s head and raised his eyebrows. “If I may just ask your distinguished self, why is your wig coming off? Ah, and is that a mark on your forehead?”
Startled, Bagu quickly touched his forehead but found that there was nothing there. Observing the gaze from the surroundings, he came to the realization that he was duped by Zhangsun Wuji. Colour drained off his face.
Zhangsun Wuji laughed as he walked back. Calmly, he said, “You should remove your wig yourself. If you were to trouble his majesty’s Tiansha Golden Military, things probably wouldn’t end up very nice.”
Those who were knowledgeable could not help but murmur. Bald, a mark on his forehead. In the entire Five Region Continent, there was a special existence, and only one, that was the ascetic practitioner of Qiongcang. According to legends, ascetic practitioners would never concern themselves with worldly affairs.
Could it be that this self-proclaimed Bagu from Fufeng nation was the most mysterious ascetic practitioner in the country? But his wig was in perfect condition, and his mark on his forehead did not appear. So how did Zhangsun Wuji find out?
Without turning back, Zhangsun Wuji walked back towards his seat. Bagu stood rooted to the ground when he heard someone whisper, “Ascetic practitioners of Qiongcang are not allowed to involve themselves with worldly affairs. Not only did he break the rules of the True Martial Arts Meet, but also violated the laws of Qiongcang. Is he not afraid that his majesty would inform Qiongcang of his sins and ask for an oracle?”
Bagu trembled. ‘This Crown Prince from another country is really as scary as rumors had it.’ He was very cautious in hiding his identity till the last round, only using a little bit of the Qiongcang technique in the fight for the championship. He even concealed his techniques by passing it off as Fufeng’s witchcraft. Even then, the Crown Prince still managed to spot it.
He subconsciously looked towards Pei Yuan but quickly withdrew his gaze for fear of Zhangsun Wuji finding out. He was determined to deny to the end yet feared Zhangsun Wuji’s words. He stood there hesitantly, uncertain of what to do.
Grimly, Zhan Nancheng looked at Bagu and asked Zhangsun Wuji, “Crown Prince, what are your thoughts on how to deal with him?”
“I have done my part,” replied Zhangsun Wuji, “Strictly speaking, what Bagu used just now was no longer martial arts but a forbidden art, going against the rules of the competition.”
“Very well,” Zhan Nancheng nodded his head, “Bagu’s rights to compete will be re–”
The words actually came out from the mouth of Meng Fuyao, who was half kneeling and leaning on the sword for support.
Zhangsun Wuji was just about to return to his seat when he heard her. He froze. When he turned back, his expression was back to normal though his eyes were filled with exasperation.
His long lashes covered his gaze as he asked calmly, “Is there anything you would like to say, General Meng?”
Meng Fuyao gripped her sword a little tighter as she looked up. She hasty swallowed a mouthful of blood that threatened to spill out and loudly replied, “I cannot let his sneak attack just go like that! I want to fight him to the end!”
Everyone in the audience was baffled by her actions, staring at her like she was an idiot — With Bagu’s contestant rights being removed and the battle of Pei Yuan and Ya Lanzhu still ongoing, despite Meng Fuyao’s injuries, she could still beat the exhausted Pei Yuan or Ya Lanzhu easily. On the other hand, Bagu remained in top condition and had a forbidden skill in his hand. How could she be his opponent?
To refuse a championship given to her on a silver platter and to die in the hands of Bagu?
Furthermore, even if her battle with Bagu were to continue, it would not be under the True Martial Arts Meet but rather a personal grudge. That would mean that she would not be protected under the rules of the competition and the results would be hard to predict.
What a lunatic!
Half kneeling, she disregarded the gazes of others and only glared at Bagu — No, she wasn’t a lunatic and wasn’t just throwing caution to the wind to revenge for herself. There was only one reason, she really saw her mother in that instance.
It was not an illusion nor was it her imagination. It was a real scenario. She was certain that in that instance where she saw her mother in the hospital, it was not a snippet of her memory. She saw the flower by her mother’s bedside was a crimson red plum blossom! Plum blossom!
Meng Fuyao’s finger dug deeply into the crevices on the golden floor. If she did not put in so much strength, she was afraid that her tears would flow out unconditionally. As the tears in her eyes reflected, the memories of her past life unfolded, revealing a path towards a door.
The door opened, and the girl walked in. She placed a stalk of jasmine into the vase and kissed the patient on the bed. She carefully scrutinized the flower in the vase, complaining, “The color of this flower is too plain. When the plum blossoms in the garden bloom, let’s pick the most beautiful one!”
“It’s okay, Fuyao, go ahead and do your stuff.” Her mother smiled. “The climate in Yun Nan is humid, remember to bring some Pogostemon patchouliwater 1 ”
“Okay!” She waved her hand and pushed open the door. A step out of the door, she suddenly popped her head back in and said, ” I don’t know how long I’ll be gone for. If anything delays my return and the plum blossoms have bloomed, ask Qiangzi to help you change the flowers every day.”
“Silly child, it is only summer now. Why wouldn’t you be back by winter?” Her mother smiled kindly.
It was her last meeting with her mother — 18 years ago.
That year, that dimension, that promise about that plum blossom. In the many sleepless nights, she would sit on her bed with tears in her eyes as she reminisced the past and wondered, ‘Is mother still waiting for me? Waiting for that plum blossom I can never personally bring to her? And waiting for me that may never return, how would mother be feeling counting the days to my return?’
It was that summer when she was finally promoted and had a pay raise. That summer, it was the first time she had the money to send her mother to the hospital. That summer, it was when the mother and daughter made the promise to put the most beautiful plum blossom on the bedside. But that summer, fate broke their promise apart.
But today, in a previously unimaginable battle, when that unsettling contestant opened his hand to reveal an eye, in that instant, she saw it. She saw the promised plum blossom, she saw her mother, she heard her mother’s sigh and counted the new white hairs on her mother’s head.
It was that flower and a more haggard Mother that made Meng Fuyao believe that the world that the eye opened was not a showcase of memories. It was a real scene projected across dimensions! She even came to the conclusion that the two dimensions had a different flow of time — the 18 years that had passed here was not equivalent to the time that had passed there.
Mother’s illness would not allow her to live past 18 years. From what she had seen, even though her mother had gotten visibly older, it was not someone who had aged 18 years.
Meng Fuyao sighed in relief as tears welled up. Her hands were almost put together to thank the heavens above that the two were not parallel worlds! Mother was still alive! All this while, her seemingly hopeless hopes were to be proven right!
This was the very reason she could not let Bagu go. He was the only alchemist that gave her hope. She must secure more information about her mother from him.
Slightly breathless, she stood up and pointed her sword towards Bagu.
She did not spare a glance for Zhangsun Wuji — regardless of his permission, it would not stop her.
But Zhangsun Wuji stared at her.
He watched her tears, her stubborn expression, her resolute stance and her body trembling in its entirety, except for her sword.
Pain flashed across his eyes as he sighed quietly. Looking at her was like spotting an oasis in the desert, so close yet so far.
Loving her, even though afraid of her losing her life, he had to let her fly.
The silence in the hall was deafening as everyone waited for an answer.
At last Zhangsun Wuji answer was, “Since General Meng challenged him, then, please.”
Meng Fuyao took in a deep breath. She suddenly felt like crying.
For him to say that sentence, it must have been hard.
She seemed to always be making things difficult for him.
To make him choose between protecting her and letting her go. To make him decide between following his heart and fulfilling her desires.
Sometimes letting go was harder than protecting.
Meng Fuyao silently swallowed her saliva as she gulped down a pill that Zhangsun Wuji had secretly given her during his entrance.
The reason why she knelt on the ground was so that she could take the pill without anyone noticing.
The championship was almost in Bagu’s hands after all that effort, but thanks to her, it was all for naught. Meng Fuyao laughed lightly — she really was incorrigible.
As she laughed, she took a deep breath and forced down her raging inner energy. She gently brushed off any dirt on her blade and lightly sliced her finger with the blade. With a slice, a line of blood appeared.
The black blade glowed with red.
When a divine weapon was fed with the blood of its owner, it could break evil spells.
The red got brighter and brighter. Despite bathing in the blood of the enemies, it was the black Destiny Rebellion’s first time tasting its owner’s blood.
Bagu watched as the ordinary-looking sword started glowing in in red. His gaze faltered as though he remembered something.
The moment he was distracted, Meng Fuyao attacked.
She swung her blade. ‘Slaughter him!’
The black, red blade that held an enormous force landed heavily on the ground.
A crack appeared in that hard golden floor from the impact of the blade. A large fault line cracked open as pieces of gold bricks flew in the air. In a blink of the eye, the sword vanished and emerged right under Bagu’s feet.
Nobody could train the very bottom of their feet!
Such a tricky and weird angle!
Bagu’s entire body was focused on guarding against Meng Fuyao’s formidable strike. What caught him by surprise was that she would use all her energy to attack the floor and before he even reacted, the sword was already at the bottom of his feet. The impact of a level six “Cleaving Nine Heavens” was not something that people could take head-on. With an ‘oh’, Bagu instinctively jumped upwards.